Yorkshire's celebs: 'How we do Christmas'

Hannah Cockroft in her racing wheelchair

Hannah Cockroft - home for Christmas in Yorkshire - Credit: James Cannon

A mountain of roasties, a Boxing Day stroll, families reunited or a plane to the sun? We discover what Christmas is about for these well-known Yorkshire faces 

Hannah Cockroft MBE, Paralympic champion 

What are your plans this Christmas? 

My parents still live in Yorkshire, so in the past few years, we’ve driven to Yorkshire early in the morning and had the morning and Christmas dinner with my parents and then come back to Chester to have the late afternoon and evening with my boyfriend’s parents. It's a lot of time in the car, but it means we can both spend the day with our families. 

What food do you crave/look forward to at Christmas? 

Cranberry cheese! I know you can have it all year round, but my mum only ever bought it at Christmas, so now it's just my Christmas thing. 

What gift would you love to receive? 

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My brother coming to spend Christmas with us. He lives in Finland and hasn't been home for Christmas since 2016. I'd love to see him, especially as Covid has meant I haven't been able to visit him in over two years now. 

Do you have any Christmas traditions? 

I always read The Night Before Christmas before bed on Christmas Eve. Mum and Dad used to read it to us as children and then as we grew up, we read it to each other, so now I just read it to myself. It's such a magical little book. 

Angela Griffin, actress 

Angela Griffin 

Angela Griffin - Credit: Angela Griffin 

What are your plans this Christmas? 

It will just be myself, my husband, and daughters Tallulah and Missie. Usually, my parents come but they have hospital appointments on Christmas Eve and live a couple of counties away. I’m thinking I might just send a taxi for them. 

What food do you crave at Christmas? 

I love a cheese board, the softer and stinkier the better. We order a stilton and a truffle brie from a local cheese shop and pick up a couple of days before the big day. I’m also partial to a sprout! 

What gift would you love to receive? 

I love a surprise but it’s quite hard to surprise me. I always end up finding a receipt or the actual present, and I promise I don’t look for them. My ideal gift would be a break aboard. I’ve really missed holidays, so it’d feel like a real treat to jet off somewhere. 

What do you cherish most about this time of year? 

I love the air of celebration and of excitement, parties, and glitter, the positive thoughts and atmosphere. I really, really love Christmas. 

Dominic Brunt, Emmerdale actor 

From ITVEmmerdaleDominic Brunt plays Paddy KirkPicture contact - David.crook@itv.comThis ph

From ITV Emmerdale, Dominic Brunt plays Paddy Kirk - Credit: Amy Brammall

What are your plans this Christmas? 

We plan to spend as much time together as a family. Lockdown taught us that living together and spending time as a unit everyday was valuable and something we wanted to keep. I’ll be trying not to eat and drink too much for the duration. 

What food do you crave at Christmas? 

I do love the traditional dinner with all the trimmings and crackers. I’m not a massive chocolate fan but I do like the strawberry one out of the Quality Street box. 

What gift would you love to receive? 

Now the kids are of an age to truly enjoy and appreciate Christmas, I like giving far more than receiving. I’m happy with socks, a bit of Vinyl and some books. 

Do you have any Christmas traditions? 

Games! Decorating the tree with mulled wine in hand and cheesy music blasting. 

(Emmerdale airs every weekday night on ITV) 

Claire King, Emmerdale actress 

From ITVEmmerdaleClaire King plays Kim TatePicture contact - David.crook@itv.comThis photog

From ITV Emmerdale Claire King plays Kim Tate - Credit: ITV Pictures

What are your plans this Christmas? 

I’m likely to be either in Spain or having a family Christmas at home in Yorkshire and after last year I think we all want a ‘normal’ Christmas! 

What food do you crave/look forward to at Christmas? 

We prefer a chateaubriand as opposed to turkey although I did goose last time, but still have a boozy, nutty Christmas pudding from M&S! 

What gift would you love to receive? 

We tend to do silly presents at Christmas although Tio Pepe is always welcome on my list! 

I think the best gift is for good health, kindness and happiness, this year particularly. I know it sounds cheesy but it’s what we all need. 

Do you have any Christmas traditions? 

They’re more at New Year - I've quite a few. I bring in a lump of coal, eat 12 grapes and wear red underwear!! Yes, I know! 

What do you cherish most about this time of year? 

I love having a roaring fire, drinking mulled wine but also looking forward to the days getting longer and the hope of a warm summer ahead! I prefer sun to snow. 

Harry Gration, broadcaster 

Harry Gration, a familiar face on TV in Yorkshire for decades

Harry Gration, a familiar face on TV in Yorkshire for decades - Credit: KG Photography Ltd

What are your plans this Christmas? 

Christmas will be at home as usual. We did have a place in Portugal up to a few years ago but there’s nothing like Yorkshire for me. 

What food do you crave at Christmas?  

Not turkey on Christmas Day. I have usually had my fill of that by December 25! So it will be beef off the bone for all us and that is a unanimous decision.  

What gift would you love to receive?  

When you get to my age, I don’t crave for any gift but concert tickets or theatre dramas are wonderful presents to get.  

Do you have any Christmas traditions?  

Our twins sleep in the same room on Christmas Eve and now with a little one again that is something they too are looking forward to.  

I always go to church at midnight and hopefully I can do that again after all the restrictions. York Minster is a magical place and I usually go on my bike whatever the weather, I dish out mince pies on my way there and although I get some strange looks and rejections, I do get rid of them.  

Christine Talbot, presenter and journalist 

Christine Talbot

Christine Talbot - Credit: Christine Talbot

What are your plans this Christmas? 

A small, family Christmas with me and my husband cooking at home - usually with my daughter, her boyfriend, my stepson and my Mum. It tends to be quite relaxed and involves Prosecco quite early! 

What food do you crave at Christmas? 

I love roast potatoes, the crispier the better and the little pigs in blankets - also crispy! I may also be in a minority, but I adore the veg - sprouts with chestnuts in butter particularly. I’ve never really liked Christmas pudding as I hate raisins, but I do love the brandy sauce that goes with it. 

What gift would you love to receive? 

An all-expenses paid holiday to the Maldives please! 

Do you have any Christmas traditions? 

On Christmas morning we still do the “You can come down now - he’s been!” as a signal for everyone to come down and open their presents - even though our children are all grown up now. They used to love it - now they just roll their eyes. 

What do you cherish most about this time of year? 

I actually prefer the run up to it more than the day really - that twinkly light, Christmassy feeling. But I do love the fact that emails and phone calls tend to stop for a day or two over Christmas, and it feels like the whole world takes a breather. 

Andrew Barton, celebrity hairdresser 

Andrew Barton cutting hair

Andrew Barton will head to the sun this Christmas - Credit: Andrew Barton

What are your plans this Christmas? 

We will be enjoying some down time and beach life in the Caribbean. Lots of ocean swimming and scuba diving and enjoying long lazy lunches and sun sun sun.  

What food do you crave at Christmas? 

I don’t eat meat but do eat fish and shellfish, so a Fruits de Mer is my ultimate fave.  

What gift would you love to receive? 

A cashmere sweater is always in Santa’s sack for me. My partner and I tend to treat each other to experiences together whether it’s spa weekends or hotel treats to feel pampered. I love stationary, so paper notebooks, my favourite brand being Smythson.  

Do you have any Christmas traditions? 

Christmas for me is being away in the sun somewhere which we’ve not managed to do for the last two years so I’m looking forward to waking up and being at the beach on Christmas morning. A tradition is always time with my family and close friends in Yorkshire early December with a huge family and friends gathering.